A bit of advice to anyone who finds himself/herself in the position of relaying bad news to those who have a loved one hospitalized long term with a terminal illness: If it is not their hospitalized loved one you are phoning about IMMEDIATELY assure the family members of this fact. No hem-hawing around. No hinting. No beating around the bush. Take a moment to think about what you are going to say when you phone. Do not cause family members of the long term hospitalized/terminally ill any undue stress, if it can be helped. Believe me, they have enough already without your drama.